The first Audi quattro debuted at the Geneva Motor Show more than 30 years ago. Its hot evolution model, the Sport quattro, followed in 1984. In fall 2010, Audi presented a new interpretation of the idea at the Paris Motor Show – the Audi quattro concept.
The purist driving machine borrows many cues from the successful rally vehicles of the 1980s, such as the powerful five-cylinder turbocharged engine and the particularly low vehicle weight. Like the Sport quattro from 1984, the Audi quattro concept is very short. It is just 4.28 meters (14.04 ft) and has a wheelbase of 2.60 meters (8.53 ft). And like its conceptual predecessor, the technology study was created by shortening a production model, in this case the RS 5.
The body of the Audi quattro concept is an Audi Space Frame (ASF) design made primarily of aluminum. Bolt-on parts such as the front apron, the engine hood and the rear hatch are made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) – a structural technique that Audi considers to have great potential. The superstructure weighs just 159 kilograms (350.53 lb). Similar to its predecessor, which also had an innovative lightweight body, the entire vehicle weighs no more than 1,300 kilograms (2,866.01 lb). The power-to-weight ratio is 4.3 kilograms (9.48 lb) per kW, or 3.2 kilograms (7.05 lb) per hp.
The showcar’s lines transform the classic quattro character into a dynamic design language of the future. With no chrome frame, the single-frame grille has a technical and functional character. The LED headlights are flat strips; the vertical air intakes below them hint at the engine’s performance. 20-inch wheels fill the prominently flared wheel wells in the elegantly arched fenders.
The roofline was lowered by roughly four centimeters (1.57 in) compared to the RS 5; the wheelbase was shortened by 15 centimeters (5.91 in) and 20 centimeters (7.87 in) were trimmed from the rear overhang. The muscular C-pillar can be considered a homage to the Sport quattro, whereas the sculpted flanks, the flat rings of lights at the rear and the large diffuser come across as very modern and elegant. The carbon-fiber rear spoiler extends automatically at a certain speed.
Five-cylinder engine with 300 kW (408 hp)
Under the hood with the distinctive air cowl is a classic Audi unit – a turbocharged five-cylinder with gasoline direct injection. The 2.5-liter engine produces 300 kW (408 hp) and 480 Nm (354.03 lb-ft), with the full pulling power continuously available from 1,600 to 5,300 rpm. The Audi quattro concept catapults to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 3.9 seconds from a standing start, yet consumes just 8.5 liters of fuel per 100 km (27.67 US mpg) on average.
A manual six-speed transmission transfers the power to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, which is a new evolutionary stage with the crown-gear center differential and torque vectoring.
A sport differential actively distributes the power at the rear axle between the two wheels. All key wheel suspension components are made of aluminum. The brake discs are made of lightweight carbon fiber-ceramic, and the front calipers each have six pistons. The wheels sport 275/30 tires.
Audi’s principle of lightweight construction becomes tangible in the interior. Each of the filigree bucket seats weighs just 18 kilograms (39.68 lb), and accents are provided in the form of large CFRP and leather surfaces. The center tunnel is slender; the instrument cluster is digital, evoking more memories of the 1980s. In racing mode, the driver can have a “prayer book” displayed, which like the navigator in a rally car provides precise information about the route ahead.
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.